tv Headline News RT April 18, 2013 7:00am-7:29am EDT
here we stand here breaking news on our deaths are confirmed in an explosion that drifts through a fat allies a plant in the u.s. state of texas that's also left over one hundred injured. the blast that registered as a two point one magnitude seismic event in leveled many buildings the town of west with fires tearing through apartment complexes schools and houses rescue services fear the number of dead could climb as many people may be buried under the rubble. wherever you're watching from around the world this is our team you will start off with our breaking news this hour the deaths have been confirmed in an explosion that ripped through a fertilizer plant in the u.s.
state of texas that's also left over one hundred people injured to buildings in a five block radius around the center of the blast have been reduced to rubble we can all talk live with our teaser on one girl interviews in taxes all for us right now romano you've just attended the press so with the town's mayor what new information do you have for us. that's right the mayor of west texas spoke to was just a few minutes ago and just to confirm some of the facts of the disaster that we've seen here at the fertilizer plant in the small central texas town. just a few minutes earlier told us that if they needed sixty homes have been damaged in this explosion it's presumed those are the homes that are closest to the blast site we were in town just a few minutes earlier and saw that there were several other businesses which also sustained some damage to the windows which were blown out the mayor informed us
that more than one hundred and sixty people have been transported to local hospitals for their injuries currently the situation is it is still a search and recovery situation we try to get as close to the site as we could police putting a radius of about a mile around the site which is still considered to be dangerous for people to approach however about half of the town of twenty six hundred people has been evacuated have been evacuated so far and the mayor there is only finished off the press conference by asking the public to send their prayers to this town here in west texas. come on i just want you mention that fifteen up to fifteen to sixty homes and businesses to i says to the plant have been damaged i just want to remind of us all that moment when that blast went off i let's just take a look here. on the
stage. right you can hear the little girl there saying a daddy let's get out of here let's move from here romano any preliminary assessments although the destruction apart from the those that you have mentioned terms of the building and some of the the homes. that's right well the mayor gave a dire assessment of the extent of the damage here today and even before that when he was trying to describe the scene of the explosion he described it as a as a nuclear blast we've seen other first responders call it you know compared to iraq and one witness who i spoke to earlier this evening said that when he showed up at the scene the row of houses that were nearest to the fertilizer plant were not even recognizable they had been leveled down to. pretty much just rubble and garbage so
that is why earlier today in the evening or yesterday excuse me we're hearing from first responders estimating that there must be dozens of casualties just because of the of the sheer size and the sheer power of this explosion and just the fact that so many people live so close to this volatile plant. romana let's take a listen now to you earlier on we had a conversation with the spokesman of a local hospital where patients are receiving treatment you mentioned the casualties i just want us to listen to what he had to say. and our facility we are one of two facilities receiving the the the patients from the from the blast right now we have seen sixty five patients one of which is critical the majority of the ones we've seen have had a variety of broken bones head injuries and a lot of them have hand in hydrous ammonia and hill ation from the from the
fertilizer plant we have had a massive response from our medical our doctors our nurses our restore therapist and they have been able to treat in release most of the ones who have who have had the the exposure to the to the ammonia we have had twelve admissions of the sixty five patients we have seen we prepare. every day for disasters i will say i've been here for thirty years i have never seen anything to the to this magnitude but i've time very thankful that that we planned for this day and again we do this on a routine basis there is plans in place to be on on alert for the rest of the evening and on into tomorrow. the son of waco not more than two thousand eight hundred people romana how did the authorities plan to deal with such devastation.
right there had been lawn floors when agencies and first responders coming from throughout the state of texas to respond to this emergency we saw when we were in the inside of the town just a few minutes ago law enforcement officers still patrolling the streets trying to keep people away from the danger areas and frankly trying to keep looters from going in we saw dozens of ambulances also take the dozens of injured but as he mentioned in that sound bite hospital still ready for the potential of more patients coming in and given the fact that. it is still a search and rescue operation happening here and the fact that you know a lot of these evacuees are being taken out of their homes because of the possible talks of vapors coming from this fertilizer plant it is
a very very windy day here in central texas so far as health concerns while there has been a very very rapid response by first responders health concerns still still linger here in central texas money mentioned the search and recovery that it continues and now we did speak to the texas department of public a safety who gave out c.s.s. men to all of the child let's just listen to what he had to say hang on. i can tell you i was there i walked through the blast area i searched some houses earlier tonight massive just like iraq just like the murray building in oklahoma city same town and exploded so you can imagine what kind of damage we're looking out there. i know there was at least seventy five to fifty fifty to seventy five houses damaged there's apartment complex that has about fifty units in it that was completely. just skeleton standing and there's
a nursing home in the area that one hundred thirty three people in the nursing home we've got them evacuated i don't know what their injuries are are there right now but all injuries have been removed from the scene and taken to local hospitals in the waco area we had numerous agencies helping us all the way from the dallas fort worth area mclennan county limestone field boss ski and all the surrounding areas so we've had a great turnout. to come out to help us get through this tragedy that we've had in this small community. actually that was of the press healthy by the spokesman for the texas department of public safety ramona how is everybody else holding up the. when we first arrived in the town of west texas it appeared that many of the neighbors and a lot of the first responders were still in shock still amazed at the number of people who were hurt by the pictures earlier that they mean that there were dozens
of people at a tree center once we arrived a couple hours later. area had been completely cleared and all one hundred plus patients had been transported. it has been a very very strong effort by local law enforcement but as the mayor noted earlier and the press conference this ordeal is far from over and and as i speak to you we're in the middle of a thunderstorm here and here in central texas rain coming down pretty good the winds are extremely high there is lightning in the distance the first responders here still have a very uphill battle when it comes to dealing with this disaster archy's that i'm on now don and live in texas florida giving us an update of what this explosion just happened in the texas. i don't know my colleague and it's if you can and shawn
palm is a spike on the revocation of the explosion. the fertilizer plant that exploded in west texas on wednesday night was fined by the mental protection agency in two thousand and six for failing to have a risk management plan that met federal standards according to the e.p.a. to these agency a risk management plan is designed to ensure chemical accidents don't happen by having safeguards in place to prevent them all according to construction permits submitted in november a fact here at this company west fertilizer valves to meet all standards expected for and hydrous ammonia storage tanks at one of those tanks as we know blew up this wednesday night officials are reluctant to give any specific information as to what caused the explosion we heard local police say they don't know whether it was a chemical reaction or a criminal look to vittie but that kind of caution could be understandable because
only after an investigation there will be. there will be they will be able to say anything for sure because of the intense coverage of this massive explosion there's lots of room for speculation and misinformation so what they are it is a very cautious with numbers especially the numbers of those who were killed there was a small of fire at first and then the big blast came later it ripped through a residential area right next to the plant one good news that we heard from the authorities there is that the fire is contained you know presumably there is no danger of another can full of chemicals exploding but the bad news is the wind it's very strong in the areas we are hearing it spreads the toxic chemicals very quickly from what we heard from the police there that toxic fumes still hamper rescue efforts in the area and many of those who've been hospitalized suffered from a moaning inhalation as we were told by medical professionals here's what experts say about the spread of those toxic chemicals as we know is extremely combustible
so shoes being used in bones and so it's menu for. sure is extremely delicate and can easily if handled wrong or if handled in safely can lead to explosion so we have to assume at this point that it is such a chemical explosion that's happened there at the plant and when you're handling chemicals like this there is a possibility that there can be chemical contamination that could be would need to be cleaned up in the aftermath of the explosion so they'll undoubtedly be extensive monitoring of the areas around the plant in order to make sure that whatever chemicals have been spread around can be cleaned up to reduce future toxicity to the residents with the kinds of winds that blow in such big intense fires there will be airborne distribution. so there's nothing that can be done while the event just happening what will be done is is assessment and cleanup in the aftermath currently people are being evacuated because of the dangers to for further
explosions for fire to spread and also for spread around of some of the chemicals from the plant however those will almost certainly be deposited close to the plant and it will be possible to get in there make assessments and to clean up some of the area in the future so those are the primary dangers let's look at the eerie timing of this you have the waco siege which ended on april nineteenth seventy four people killed in a very significant very big fire reminiscent of the images that we're seeing seeing that was the culmination of a fifty day standoff between a.t.f. agents and the branch davidian david koresh he set the complex on fire killing himself and these seventy three others too and that that was twenty years ago almost to the day one day shy of that then two years later so eighteen years ago in oklahoma city bombing the federal building the murrayfield you're building there also happened on this date and kind of eerie as well the sixty sixth anniversary
exactly to the day of the texas city texas fire and. which killed twelve hundred people that was at a monsanto chemical plant that was in a town very near to houston so very significant timing and very eerie as well when it comes to the day we heard from the people that we've spoken to tonight about how these are their friends their colleagues the people they know they've grown up with it's a town of less than three thousand people and a very strong spirit and this is when things like this happen these people rally together so that they can help each other get through this the social media sphere is now bursting with comments on the tragedy md i would this is have been posting some of their footage and snapshots of the blast seize these images from twitter which of course is a lot i do with the discussions of the disaster the massive smoke cloud from the blast was pictured by several people and the images of the mayhem in the area surrounding the plant also be made available collapsed and burning buildings as
well as survivors. say with r g four the latest on this a developing story will bring you more updates just a few moments. old . technology innovation. developments around russia we've got the future covered. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so. you think you understand it and then he glimpse something else you hear sees some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm trying hard bargain is a big issue. speak
your language. programs in documentaries in arabic in school here on all t.v. reporting from the world talks about fifty yards p. interview intriguing story are you. trying arabic to find out more visit arabic don't call. welcome back you're watching our team a reminder of all breaking news of the solemn deaths confirmed in the blogs adrift through a fertilizer plant in the u.s. state of texas also leaving over one hundred injured the boston plays at eight pm local time officials are now saying that the fly i have been contained local
authorities confirmed deaths at the fed lies upon but the number of casualties is still unclear the u.s. geological survey says the blast registered as a two point five magnitude is seismic event i wouldn't say before i had took hold at the pump and complexes schools and houses some of which have collapsed because of the blast is yet unknown. my for some analysis on the potential dangers of chemical poisoning following the blood so we can now speak to alice to hay a professor of environmental toxicology at leeds university in the u.k. mr haye thank you very much all for being right here with us on r.t. the satellite up long ago is almost destroyed one of the health risks knell for the locals. yes i mean first light of plants are notoriously dangerous because you make a movie of nitrate which secures light and. sometimes it's used in explosives so
you always have to be streamlined careful on any chemical on it on fertilizer plants and particular. any long term health risks that might be associated with the fed a chemical is used in west. well what you're making is ammonium nitrate now as you've heard from some of the records one of the chemicals that you use to make a mint in nitrate it's only there. is a particularly pungent chemical most people are probably aware of it a very sharp smell it irritates. and they responded to tracked. so the irritation if you like would be a warning to individuals that the concentration would be. far from pleasant and an indication to try to get away if you can. it is
a gas ammonia and it will cause problems that will be the principal concern i would have thought in the immediate. of course when you've got a large fire you've got that burning of a lot of material so you've got very small particles in the air they in turn will cause problems if inhaled. and so in the immediate area around the plant if individuals are involved in smoke and so on it's a smoke inhalation problem something that firefighters encounter all too frequently these irritation the end some of their respective respiratory problems that you mentioned will they take effect immediately how long would it take for the environment for the people around that environment to actually start feeling those irritation. with ammonia it's very prongs it is very quick really you you know it's just. not even
a matter of minutes if the concentration is high enough you will register it in a few seconds so very much depends on the concentration i know those strong winds that are there will blow things around but in some ways a strong winds help to disperse the chemicals more quickly so you don't have a very high concentration for a long time. what would you say would become the environmental i mean could this become an environmental catastrophe in the long run. i think it's unlikely given the various chemicals that are used. there are methods available for all of these things the sounds of this the firefighters have managed to contain the blaze to the extent that a second tank containing liquid ammonia is not at risk so what you have in terms of problems around about are chemical sort
a largely used in agriculture so i don't think it will cause a huge pollution problem and there you because you've got all the fallout from the fire depends really what the construction of the building was because. in neighboring buildings because some of that construction material of course have been dispersed by the fire as well so there will have to be some sort of assessment but i don't think you're talking about a major toxic legacy if you like if that sort of expression that people are aware of. we talked a little bit about the actual blosser they happens to be a chemical cloud the and we know that there are winds that you just said now it's potentially could help actually move that out of the area how long would it take to actually he sees that cloud. a very much depends on the wind speed it also depends on the intensity of the fire if you got
a very hot fire the plume gets thrown up into the higher up into the atmosphere more rapidly and will disperse more rapidly so there are a variety of different factors sort of involved that will affect the rate of spread of the fire i understand the associated plume should say thank you very much there will have to leave it there environmental toxicology expert to add us to hay. welcome. and staying with news of from the u.s. a malicious mail scare has gripped america after letters laced with poison was sent out to president obama and to other officials the deadly packages were intercepted by authorities and a man has been arrested in mississippi in connection with the case officials say the suspect is well known as a frequent letter want to make his several government offices across the u.s.
have also been locked down over a suspicious package the scare comes just days after the deadly boston bombing and they closed the post nine eleven and threats a mail attacks which killed several people authorities say video footage from boston has also helped pinpoint two potential suspects but they have not been identified and no arrests have been made yet and while americans have given up some liberties in a change in time to security in the last decade to they feel none of those so you know syria as artie's we're in a reports what we know so far and what the f.b.i. and secret service has disclosed is that a letter addressed to president barack obama contained substance rice and that is considered a poisonous substance that according to preliminary tests the letter that was addressed to him. was opened intercepted our interest. in this toxin some would argue that all this these increased levels of security and and
encroaching on civil liberties which critics say the u.s. does has been a waste of money we should also remember that when u.s. president barack obama addressed the nation and finally called the boston marathon bombings a terrorist attack he said he doesn't know who is behind the attacks and why they would they would execute such and it's. suspect in the perpetrator will be brought to justice what that indicates is the fact that the united states at this point can't pinpoint an enemy it's not like how it was in the aftermath of the aftermath of the september eleventh attacks there is no osama bin laden anymore that u.s. officials point a finger at and between september eleventh and now the u.s. has waged two very long wars also participated in military interventions and many experts would argue has created many many enemies all over the world so now at this
point the u.s. can't pinpoint its enemy they do not know if the person or people behind the boston marathon bombings is someone that is located domestically is someone that's working with of foreign organization they do not know and i think that puts many would argue that that puts the united states at a major disadvantage. but let's all be breaking bringing you breaking this sad when i see everyone. i reckon cardiologist dr omar al claims that the war in iraq destroyed iraq's environment even worse than dropping the bomb on hiroshima did dr ocoee see puts
the data that the number of pressed cancer cases has grown in the country from fifteen to thirty times cases of congenital heart disease have become fifteen times more frequent case of leukemia have increased thirty fold the doctor puts the blame on the weapons used in the one thousand nine hundred one and two thousand and three invasion of iraq it which nato forces used white phosphorus depleted uranium rounds and other toxic gases and poison of substances human rights watch and the world health organization have measured radiation levels in iraq and consider many places in iraq even some very far from the fighting to be contaminated naturally radiation is not racist and foreign soldiers in iraq are not immune usa today even published research results that found that depleted uranium was indeed in the lungs and other organs of navy vets who filed for health compensation claims yet you know saddam hussein seemed like a pretty bad guy but there are always ways to get around the confines of a dictatorship but there is no way to escape from radiation it is truly the present
so for the divisions of iraq and good for the iraqis well it doesn't seem to be doing too good for their physical health but that's just my opinion. so. download the official publication to your cell phone choose your language stream quality and enjoy your favorite. if you're away from your television just doesn't mess with your mobile device so you can walk jog see anytime anywhere. you live on one hundred thirty three bucks
a month for food i should try it because you know how fabulous i got so many i mean the towns i know that i've seen the same really messed up. in the all very sort of political of the. worst you're going to. find out superman a radio guy for the tale of minestrone cause they want you to watch closely are about to give you never seen anything like this i'm told. hey guys i'm abby martin in the breaking news set do you remember the uproar over cispa the all pervasive cyber security bill you know the one that would allow private companies to share the information they collect on you but the government women are not suspects back yet despite a white house veto on the bill the first time around it's been.